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Blogs
23 Nov

As an entrepreneur, you can often find yourself at constant odds with yourself. Some day, you feel like you’re living a dream, while others can feel like the absolute worst profession. For many, the everyday stress and “busyness” can wear you out over time.

Being able to change your work style or pace drastically is not something you can often do, but small changes and habits can help you better manage your work and your life. Very small changes can end up changing your day, week, month and more.

We’ll present a few small actions that any entrepreneur should apply to help themselves get going, even when the business gets tough:

STAND UP

This one can’t be said enough. Sitting kills your muscles. Think about this: if you stand three hours every workday for a year, in added energy use that equals ten marathons!

And there’s no reason to invest in a real standing desk - just use a pile of boxes or books. Start with 20 minutes and slowly work your way up.

EMAIL-FREE TIME

It’s hard to focus and be productive when a beep, buzz or ping keeps interrupting your every minute. This small action can have a HUGE impact. You could double the time between checking emails and see how it affects you.

Make email-free time a habit, and start increasing that time so you begin to feel comfortable having time away from your emails.

DO IMPORTANT, NON-URGENT TASKS

Prioritisation is key to everything, especially when it comes to managing a startup. Some do it naturally, while others struggle every day with it. Here’s a simple exercise: Draw a matrix with two sides - urgent/non-urgent and important/not-important. Where are you? We often spend a lot of time in the urgent-important bucket.

However, the problem is that the “urgent” always requires you firefighting, pushing deadlines, and always being behind. Every day, make sure you do one thing that’s important and NON-urgent as well, such as relationship management, thinking time, feedback, etc.

Your stress levels a few weeks from now will thank you.

2-MINUTE WORKOUT

Many days it feels like there’s just no time to fit in exercise. But even just a quick 2-minute office workout can make you feel so much better.

Try doing something easy, such as a 2-minute plank, stretches, handstands, or squats. People may look at you funny, but your body and mind will thank you!

SNACK SMART

We all know that afternoon slump around 3-4pm - even the most saintly of eaters fall victim of that low energy feeling and reach for a snack. A balanced, non-sugary snack will help keep your blood sugar levels in check, and you’ll stay alert and active for the rest of the working day.

So set any alarm for when the snack attack usually hits you, and prepare a healthy pick-me-up to combat your late afternoon energy slump.

TALK TO SOMEONE NOT WORK RELATED

This simple action can carry big results. Social connections are clearly proven to be one of the strongest determinants of happiness, but when life gets busy, we tend to deprioritise them.

Make time for those friends and relatives that you’ve been meaning to call, but haven’t gotten to it. Make it an item on your to do list and reach out. No need to spend hours on the phone, but just sending them a quick text can cheer them and you up!

Overall, these small little micro-actions can help you feeling more rejuvenated and energised when it comes to managing your startup. Just keep in mind, to only pick one and try it consistently for a week until you feel a difference. And if you like it, keep going until it feels effortless - then move on to another new micro-action.

 

15 Nov

Getting your product or service noticed by potential customers is the first major hurdle for any startup. And one of the biggest misconceptions a startup can make is assuming that someone will purchase that product or service after only their first interaction with the company.

But in reality, that’s simply not the case. The harsh truth is that the conversion rate of first time interactions tends to hover below 10%.

That means startups need to focus on marketing campaigns that have multiple touch points throughout a customer’s journey. And the easiest way to achieve that is through email.

Email – which can include offers, reminders, newsletters and more – is a great way to keep a potential customer engaged and coming back to your startup pre-­purchase. Choosing which type of email suits your startup depends on your goals and who your target audience is.

So how do you get your email campaigns rolling and converting those first time visitors? Here’s where to get started:

1. Remember that growth is a process

Most startups tend to assume that there is one silver bullet available for their business, when in fact, no one actually knows the business better than the startup founders do themselves. Because of this, startup founders should themselves run through process for growth. This allows them to rapidly conduct experiments to gain data on their business in order to understand what works and what doesn’t.

2. Run experiments to gather data

Experimenting with your emails is your key to success email marketing success. The more experiments you run, the faster you will find what works for you and your business.

Keep in mind, it’s better to start off broad first then quickly narrow down to small details. A few ways to experiment with your emails are:

A. Subject Line A/B Testing

One of the easiest things to test in your email is the subject line. Experiment with different ways of presenting your email and grabbing your audience’s attention through personalisation and bringing out their curiosity.

B. Deliverability Testing

If your emails don’t see the light of day, how do you expect them to be effective?

Figure out how best to deliver them. This can include making sure your emails are actually being delivered to your list’s inbox, as well as they’re being delivered during a time your audience will open them.

Keep in mind that most of your experiments will most likely fail. But, if you’re persistent, every once in a while you will find one piece of data that works.

3. Invest in good analytics

In order to properly understand your experiments, it’s important that you invest in setting up tracking and back end data/attribution. Your analytics will be the backbone for everything you implement, especially your email campaign testing.

4. Optimise what works

Once you establish what works, it’s time to dig deep and understand every attribute about what is making it work. Once you’ve defined what those attributes are, it’s time to scale it up as far as you can go and build a process (and even a team) around this.

5. Automate what’s working

Automate as much of this as you possibly can, to help save you and your team time.

6. Repeat 

Repeat the experiment process so you can find your next growth lever that works for you. 

While finding the perfect formula for your emails may take time, it’s worth it in the end. Sending out email campaigns that not only engage, but also convert potential customers will help you increase your conversion rate and spread the word about your startups product or service to a wider audience.

06 Sep

Over the last five years, London has become an epicenter for emerging startups and entrepreneurs. the number of digital businesses in London’s

Tech City has soared from a tiny 250 to now over 3,000 and counting. There are currently more than 350,000 Londoners employed in a digital business and sources claim that there are still thousands of positions waiting to be filled. And there are no signs of seeing this trend stopping any time soon. Yet, it’s not all college grads and millennials flocking to the digital startup scene though, as some might expect. Even veteran staff are making the move over from corporate positions to joining a startup team. As many banks in London have shrunk in the wake of the financial crisis, there are many former investment bankers and information technology specialists leaving their well­paid corporate jobs for the growing tech community; using their knowledge of complex financial markets and connections within the banking world to begin new companies.

Entrepreneurship has now become a badge of honour in Britain, with risk­taking being celebrated rather than feared. What has changed in Britain over the past five years to help spawn this trend? And why has London become the central appeal towards startups and the startup culture?

While there are plenty of reasons, one of the main reasons has to do with a slight shift in culture. Previously, job seekers aimed to find a secure job that paid well and had room for many promotions. Once employed with a company, one used to expect to stay with the company for at least ten or more years. This was a smart and well­respected move by many, and those who didn’t follow this path were often seen as irresponsible.

However, the rise of high profile tech startups have served as inspiration to a large generation of job seekers, making startups and tech a hot, fast­moving sector that many are dying to get into. Today, job seekers are now willing to forgo high salaries in order to have at learning something meaningful. The current workforce now looks beyond just a quick pay raise, and desires something that will be more beneficial later in life. Creating or working for a startup is now seen as a way to save the day, and potentially a way to create an intense adventure with a lucrative return. After seeing the quick rise of fame with tech startups like Facebook, AirBnb, and Uber – who wouldn’t want to, for at least a while, be a part of the same scene?

Additionally, conditions are also ripe for the rise of startups, both on the technological and political level in London. Startups are now being viewed as the innovative lifeblood powering Britain’s economic recovery. Seed enterprise investment schemes (SEIS), the British Business Bank, R&D tax breaks and government startup loans all add up to one big picture. On top of that, the UK is offering a plethora of ways to fill its current digital skills shortage, from free online programmes, to after­school coding clubs, to even improving computing A­levels as a way of fostering a future workforce of digitally savvy problem­solvers.

And lastly, London has become a thriving hub for startups and entrepreneurs because – it’s London. Every conceivable type of industry already exists in the city, along with an incredibly international and diverse population. Developing services and products, such as co­working facilities, are popping up across the city, making the possibility of creating or working for a lean startup even easier than before. Add to this an unstoppable mix of tech innovation and it’s no wonder London has become the perfect platform for a booming startup craze.

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